Monday, April 30, 2012

Those Gray Days

Sometimes mornings don't start out right. Sometimes the whole day is bumpy from beginning to finish. Sometimes life feels bleak and irritating.

I will be honest, I don't like writing negative posts but life isn't always wonderful... I think I write about these days in hopes that someone will stumble across my blog and feel comforted in some way. I know how it feels to be lonely in a situation or moment. It's so nice when you find someone that understands and that says what you need to hear.

This morning started early with one problem after another, which eventually led to me crying when I had had my fill of all of it. I won't bother to review the issues, as really, they are minimal compared to everything else... but today, it just bummed me out. It doesn't help that I haven't been sleeping to well for awhile and that just escalates problems to another level. Sigh.

I am sure that it can all be worked out one way or another, but it is hard to think of that in the midst of frustration. I wonder if you're nodding your head in agreement.

While the morning was rough, I am thankful that rest of the day was good. I got to spend time with one of my closest friends and that greatly improved my mood. I helped her box up items since she'll be moving soon and the physical activity was nice. We also got sushi for lunch and watched an episode of "Frasier." Ah... Saving grace!

There are silver lining to gray clouds, that I believe. However, I also believe gray clouds can be nudged aside by a good friend. I am always, always, always grateful for my close friends. Perhaps these days are just reminders of that -- it's hard to see through the hard stuff but once it settles you get a more refined view of your blessings.

I will say this: it is important to feel what you feel. If you feel frustrated -- be it. If you want to cry, let it out. These are the things that make us human and allow us to better connect to others. Empathy is what we need in order to make the world a bit brighter. Perspective helps too (hence why I do recognize my bad days/mornings are not the worst but they do matter to me and that is OK).

I don't know how your day was. I hope it was great and beautiful. I hope it was less gray than mine. Maybe it wasn't. So I will leave you with this:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. 
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

and a little bit of beauty....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

When it hits 80 degrees...

I tell you what folks, there is nothin' like a gorgeous day in the Pacific Northwest. We know how to celebrate the sunshine!

I love seeing my neighbors out and about working on their yard, hearing kids playing, lawn mowers going, people out walking and riding their bikes, convertible tops down.... all kinds of great things happen on beautiful days in suburbia. These days make all of the rain worth it :) I say we have earned these days considering we hit a record last month for rain -- wettest March in 83 years (think we got about 7 inches or so, yuck). Apparently we hit a record today (gotta love extremes), 80 degrees! I was thrilled with the prospect of 70 so it's a bonus.

Alrighty so here is what I did today... after a little bit of homework, I made a dash to work on the yard!

 More instant gratification! The corner (as you see below) was not very instant however... the soil is so wet which actually makes it more challenging to get weeds out.

 Before and After on top and then some pics of the backyard...

It's been a wonderful day!! As you can tell, Cheese was working hard... haha He went from place to place resting and looking cute. I could have taken a 100 pics of him - love my big boy. Coco Chanel wasn't too pleased with us being outside of the house and yakked to us from the window. Sigh...

Tomorrow is supposed to be about as nice so I'm looking forward to it. I do have to sub which means I'll be inside all day but you better believe it... come 3:15PM, I am out the door as fast as I can go!

Hoping for a good week :)

An Evening with Apolo Ohno

I'm a weekend writer... I can't help it but that is how life is right now. I am in the last two weeks of the semester and have been subbing quite a bit this month. I'm happy to report that this weekend has been just as wonderful as the last one-- perhaps even better!

So I guess I better start in chronological order... Starting with FRIDAY!

 Buddy TV? 
On Friday night, Mom and I had the opportunity to see Apolo Anton Ohno speak (the most decorated Winter athlete of all time! YEAH!) !!!! She got an email last week about him being at the Elsinore Theater in Salem and impulsively we got tickets. He was the motivational speaker for this benefit by Project Assist and Med Assist. These programs help people without insurance to obtain medical services of all kinds in the Marion/Polk County. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get pictures (they were not allowed -- drove me crazy!) but I certainly did enjoy listening to him. Yes he is a great speaker and motivational. Yes you can see his muscles through his suit ;-)

It was awesome hearing him talk about how he learned to live with "zero regrets." He went through very intensive preparations for his last Olympics in 2010. I didn't know he was able to leg press 2,000 pounds! Talk about mental strength! When he talked about that everyone in the crowd was like "Whoah." Needless to say, he is inspirational and motivational. I also appreciate his passion for helping children be successful because he knows how easy it is to fall into traps. I would love to see him again!!!

Besides the whole experience was quite fun. Something that Drs. Niles and Frasier Crane (we've been watching lots of "Frasier" lately) would have enjoyed this event. I saw some very formally dressed ladies, men in top hats, there were hors d'oeuvres and wine. I was very amused and loved it!

I was semi-formal -
Blazer: White House Black Market ($70 on sale, it fit me perfectly and I love it)
Top: Romy ($15 - yes you can wear a cheap top with a spendy one -- also had to wear gold for this)
Jeans (not pictured): Dark skinny jeans from Hollister
Boots (see below): Cathy Jean

Delightful evening dahhhling... and then afterwards we drove to our 5 star hotel -- known as Granny's. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Good Day

This has been a wonderful weekend! I have enjoyed spending time outside, having my brother-in-law home (he's in the Army), eating good food, and also being productive. I'm loving these fair weather Spring days!

Finally, vacuumed and wiped the insides of my car! She looks like a beauty now :)

Weeded for a little while today after cleaning my car. Got two buckets full! That makes 6 for this weekend! The yard is looking much better but we have a ways to go.

Weeding = Instant Gratification ... A little way to add value to life. Felt so good to be smelling the dirt, hearing the funny sounds of people outside, sun beating on me, cool breeze... very satisfying.

Cheese Puff was very funny this afternoon! He looked so cute wherever he chose to snooze. I call him "Resourceful Cheese" in this picture with the wood block. He loves having a place to rest his head!

Also, finally planted my Cat Chia Grass (my first Chia Pet LOL- it was a Christmas gift). Hoping this will bring some joy to my indoor kitty. She has been going crazy having the windows open, sensory overload this weekend. haha Will be fun to watch these seeds grow!

Here's to a good week!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Delightful Saturday

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything" -- William Shakespeare

Happy Cheese laying in the sunshine -- see that smile?! :)

Crocus had their turn first, then daffodils and now tulips are in the spotlight

It was a lovely fair weather day - passing clouds, cool breeze and warm sunshine

Flew our flag today since my brother-in-law/my sister's husband got to come home and visit

 Picked 4 buckets of weeds!

Ended the day with a delicious dinner and dessert at the Macaroni Grill

I feel so blessed :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Outfit Inspiration: Chilly Spring Days

via Pinterest -- Lilly's Style

I have had this outfit saved on Pinterest for quite some time, but I think it is applicable for the moody PNW Spring days. In agreement with Courtney, layers are great this time of year! I love how Lilly tied the belt, it adds a little more interest to a fairly casual outfit. I wouldn't wear those type of boots right now (fleece/fuzzy boot layers aren't necessary anymore! Not that cold here thankfully!) -- probably a lighter weight brown pair or even flats if the weather is conducive.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Polka Dot Love for Easter

I have a confession: I have a HUGE crush on the clothing store Ruche. I love their beautiful dresses, skirts, and delicate accessories. I wouldn't consider my style vintage, but I do enjoy girly things from time to time. Anyhow, in March I spied a lovely light colored teal polka dot dress. I couldn't pass it up and took a chance and made my first purchase with Ruche! I ordered on a Tuesday and had my dress by Saturday (it also helps that they're located in Cali). The dress is great quality, fits me nicely (for the most part- unfortunately I was not 'blessed' with a large top area haha), and I have many ideas for styling it.

I am so thankful the weather was so lovely! Had this been a typical Easter I would have been so chilly (especially considering my tights got a huge run in them shortly before I had to leave home-- so that is also why you are graced with my pasty legs! ;-) ) *

Dress: Ruche
Cardigan: Merona / Target (recent!)
Belt: H & M
Blazer: H & M
Shoes: H & M

*P.S. Sara-- you can see my wacky collar bones! haha!

Easter Celebrations

"He is risen! He is risen indeed!"

Easter was a wonderful day! Not only was it a grand celebration of Jesus but it was also my mom's birthday and a cousin's. We started the day off with church, then a delicious meal at Granny's, and a little party at home in the evening for Mom. The "icing on the cake," so to speak, was that the weather was glorious this past weekend! Believe me, that is a BIG deal for us Oregonians! Usually Easter brings rain, rain and more rain... We enjoyed ourselves!

Amazing Tiramisu cake from Whole Foods :)
I love this tradition and eventually it will stop... but at 25, there's still a lil girl in me that LOVES hunting eggs around the house! It also provides my mom with good laughter because I am awful at finding them! haha
Well, when all this is inside- who can blame me for wanting to hunt?! haha 
Hope that you all had a blessed weekend whether you celebrated Easter or not!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Outfit Inspiration: Teacher-y

via Pinterest, most likely from Ann Taylor 
I know it may seem contradictory to continue with outfit posts when I have recently been talking about living a simple life. The the thing is, I am really into fashion right now. So how I mesh those two things together-- simplicity and style? Try to use what I currently have and enhance the old with new (when I obtain new things). Buy new clothing items with intention!! That is the key to so many things: intention. Purpose. And I will be honest, I am craving many clothing items right now but I have to be mindful.

Anyway, without further chatter, here is an outfit that I love! A cardigan + ruffle top + belt + slacks. Totally teacher-y. Easy to recreate and practical. :)

Trying out a timed post since I am subbing on Tues!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pretty April Day

I spent most of this lovely day at the library doing mounds of homework. Sadly, while I spent a good part of Spring Break trying to get ahead in one class, I got slightly behind in another. I pretty much did a week's worth of reading and responding all today. Ugh. Seriously, it is going to be a mad dash to the end of this semester. I probably won't be writing as much either... :( I'll try my best though.

So on the bright side of adding value to life, I think it is important to capture natural beauty in memory and pictures. I took these pictures on a short walk around the ponds (thanks to B for making me get some fresh air!).... I also had fun Instagramming them.

Happy April! Happy Spring!